ANDERSON (AP) — Add strange tasting and smelling water around Anderson to the problems caused by the record-setting rainfall this summer.


The rise in Lake Hartwell has submerged some plants and trees, and as they die and decay, they are releasing chemicals into the water that give it a foul smell and odor, Anderson Regional Joint Water System Executive Director Scott Willett told the Anderson Independent-Mail.


The water is safe to drink, cook and bathe in, but the chemicals causing the odor and taste issues can’t be filtered out of the water after it is drawn from Lake Hartwell, Willett said.


“We recognize what is happening and we apologize for it,” he said. “But this is sort of the curse that comes with the blessing of so much rain.”


The water system has doubled its usual water sampling efforts to make sure the water remains safe, Willett said.


“The rainfall means that areas around the lake that used to be out of the water are now under water,” he said. “So the grass and trees that used to be out of the water are now dying under water. All of that creates what we call tannins -- color- and taste-causing materials that create taste and odor problems but that don’t filter through our plant.”


The Department of Health and Environmental Control is aware of what is happening at Lake Hartwell and is checking the system’s water treatment plant to make sure there are no additional problems, spokesman Jim Beasley said.


This summer, Anderson and the rest of the Upstate received record rainfall, which sent Lake Hartwell to its highest level since 1964.


Heavy rain leaves water tasting funny